Coca for the People: A Necessary Reappraisal – with Wade Davis

Legendary anthropologist Wade Davis has an encyclopaedic knowledge of coca. The Inca called it The Divine Leaf of Immortality. It is central to life in tropical regions of South America. In this interview Wade makes an eloquent, passionate, and unimpeachable case that coca needs to be legalized and be welcomed into mainstream culture. As Wade says, “Of all these commonly used stimulants [coffee etc], without any doubt, the most benign, the most pleasant, the most effective, the most helpful, is coca.” Wade says that comparing coca to cocaine is like comparing potatoes too vodka, and that is only illegal because it has been caught up in the ongoing, ineffective, absurdly expensive, and incredibly violent drug wars. Not only is coca the superior plant for daily use, there is huge potential benefit for farmers in tropical South America. We have to give the campesinos a legal market for their product.